Kozak, Susan Jane 1957-

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KOZAK, Susan Jane 1957-

(Harley Jane Kozak)


Born January 28, 1957, in Wilkes-Barre, PA; daughter of Joseph Aloysius (an attorney) and Dorothy (a music instructor; maiden name, Taraldsen) Kozak; married Van Santvoord (an actor), c. 1982 (divorced, 1983); married Gregory Aldisert (an attorney); children: (second marriage) Audrey, Lorenzo and Gianna (twins). Education: Graduate of New York University's School of the Arts (now Tisch School of the Arts).


Agent—Renee Zuckerbrot, Renee Zuckerbrot Literary Agency, 115 West 29th St., New York, NY 10001.


Actor and author. Worked as a waitress in New York, NY, for ten years; actor in films, including The House on Sorority Row (also known as House of Evil and Seven Sisters), Associated Releasing Corp., 1983; Clean and Sober, Warner Bros., 1988; When Harry Met Sally, Columbia Pictures, 1989; Parenthood, Universal Pictures, 1989; Arachnophobia, Buena Vista, 1990; Side Out, TriStar, 1990; All I Want for Christmas, Paramount Pictures, 1991; Necessary Roughness, Paramount Pictures, 1991; The Taking of Beverly Hills (also known as Boomer: The Taking of Beverly Hills), Columbia Pictures, 1991; The Favor, Orion, 1994; Magic in the Water (also known as Glenorky), TriStar, 1995; and The LoveMaster, Rocket Pictures, 1996. Actor in television movies, including So Proudly We Hail (also known as Skinheads), Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS), 1990; Beyond Control: The Amy Fisher Story, American Broadcasting Companies (ABC), 1993; The Android Affair (also known as The Human Touch and Teach 905), USA Network, 1995; A Friend's Betrayal (also known as Stolen Youth), National Broadcasting Company (NBC), 1996; Unforgivable, CBS, 1996; Titanic (miniseries), CBS, 1996; Dark Planet, Sci-Fi Channel, 1997; and Emma's Wish, CBS, 1998. Actor in television series, including Texas (also known as Texas, The New Generation), NBC, 1980-82; The Guiding Light, CBS, 1983-85; Santa Barbara, 1985-86; Knightwatch, ABC, 1988-89; Harts of the West, CBS, 1993-94; Bringing up Jack, ABC, 1995; and You Wish (also known as Genie), ABC, 1997-98. Actor in television episodes of series such as Highway to Heaven, L.A. Law, Dream On, Charlie Grace, Strangers, Stargate SG-1, Teen Angel, The Secret Lives of Men, The Love Boat: Next Wave, and The Hidden Room. Appeared in television specials and acted in stage productions of The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds, A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Seagull, Twelfth Night, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, A Streetcar Named Desire, Love Letters, Man of the Moment, Lost in Yonkers, and Born Yesterday.


(As Harley Jane Kozak) Dating Dead Men, Doubleday (New York, NY), 2004.

(As Harley Jane Kozak) Dating Is Murder, Doubleday (New York, NY), in press.

Contributor of essays to Soap Opera Digest.


Dating Carnivores, a sequel to Dating is Murder.


Actress and author Susan Jane Kozak was inspired to take the name Harley by the motorcycle her first husband, actor Van Santvoor, parked in their Manhattan loft. Born in Pennsylvania, she was one year old when her father died, and her mother, a music teacher, moved first to North Dakota, then to Lincoln, Nebraska, to teach at the University there. Kozak was five when she first appeared on stage, and she was part of the cast on her mother's television show, Music with Mrs. Kozak. As a high school senior, Kozak had a paid summer job playing Indian maiden number two in The Legend of Daniel Boone in Harrodsburg, Kentucky. Moving to New York, she studied acting and was able to give up her waitressing job when she landed her first role in The House on Sorority Row. She next acted in a number of television soaps, both in New York and Los Angeles, and now has a long list of films to her credit, including a role as Billy Crystal's ex-wife in the hit movie When Harry Met Sally.

As Kozak notes on her Web site, she became less interested in acting, and more interested in writing, as she approached her forties and the parts she was being offered were no longer for a leading lady but rather for the mother of the leading lady. In the meantime, she remarried and had three children in quick succession, including twins. Having always enjoyed writing, she had a play, a novel, a screenplay, and a musical stashed away. She decided to return to writing and finished her first published novel, Dating Dead Men, which features Wollie Shelley, a character she plans to include in a series of light-hearted mysteries.

Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, who goes by "Wollie," is a greeting card designer and owner of the shop Wollie Welcome. Wollie is worried about the status of her franchise, as well as the well-being of her institutionalized, paranoid schizophrenic brother, P.B. She is also involved in a research project being conducted by a radio celebrity psychotherapist, who is paying her to date 411 men in sixty days. One day, P.B. calls Wollie to say that there has been a murder at his hospital, Rio Pescado. She dashes off to check out his claim and does, in fact, find a body, which she nearly runs over on her way. While there, she meets a man disguised as a doctor who enlists her help to escape from the Mafia. Doc's problems are complicating Wollie's life, and worse, she may be falling in love for the former cop. Library Journal contributor Shelley Mosley called Dating Dead Men a "rollicking caper, an exuberant, fun-filled roller-coaster ride." A Publishers Weekly critic wrote that Kozak "has struck gold first time out with a wacky, high-octane plot and characters to match."



Contemporary Theatre, Film, and Television, Volume 22, Gale (Detroit, MI), 1999.


Booklist, November 15, 2003, Kristine Huntley, review of Dating Dead Men, p. 576.

Kirkus Reviews, November 1, 2003, review of Dating Dead Men, p. 1295.

Library Journal, October 1, 2003, Shelley Mosley, review of Dating Dead Men, p. 122.

Publishers Weekly, August 11, 2003, Robert Dahlin, review of Dating Dead Men, p. 139; December 8, 2003, review of Dating Dead Men, p. 49.


Harley Jane Kozak Home Page,http://www.harleyjanekozak.com (August 1, 2004).*